Dharamsala: A group of Tibetan researchers, who participated in the 4th Young Tibetan Research Scholars’ Conference, under the organization of Tibet Policy Institute (TPI) visited Tibetan Parliamentary Secretariat and were greeted by the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile’s Deputy Speaker Ven. Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok in the parliamentary hall on Aug 23.
Greeting the young Tibetan scholars, Deputy Speaker elucidated on the difference between the sessions of Tibetan parliament and other free countries, stating that the most striking difference is the fact that the objective of the Tibetan parliamentary session is to discuss and debate on the stability and sustainability of Tibetan struggle movement and stimulating its cognizance on global platform. He also addressed on the budget session, held on the month of March of every year, detailing the categorization of the 45 Tibetan parliamentarians into various committees, such as Public Accounts Committee, who reviews the audited financial reports of Central Tibetan Administration. He also spoke in detail on how the budget for the next financial year are approved while describing different types of budgets such as supplementary (interim) budget, recurring budget etc and the respective procedures of their approval.
He also spoke on the ‘September session’, stating that this particular session mainly revolves on tabling the discussion and revision over the previous year’s administrative annual report as well as in the amendments of legislative, if necessary. He stated that all the annual reports sent by the Tibetan settlement offices, institutes, schools and health clinics etc., under the jurisdiction of various departments of Central Tibetan Administration are accumulated by the concerned departments and then duly sent to the Tibetan parliament for their evaluation through Kashag. He further added that based on the evaluated report of the three committees from the Standing Committee of the Tibetan parliament, discussions are held in the September session.
He then elucidated on the sources of fund for the annual budget of Central Tibetan Administration from various resources including the Green Book and Blue Book contribution by the Tibetans and people of other nationalities as well as the modest fares collected from the staffs upon their personal usage of of office printers and vehicles.
Describing the uniqueness of Tibetan democracy in exile, he cited the meticulousness and viability of Tibetan Charter in exile and said, ‘As stated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, our democracy is indeed governed by law, not by any individual.’
As he expounded further on Tibetan democracy, he recounted how Dr. Subhas C. Kashyab, former Secretary-General of Lok Sabha (7th, 8th & 9th), also a well known Political Scientist and an expert in Indian Constitution, commended the Tibetan democratic system as the ideal democratic system, with each and every individual Tibetans possessing the right to vote for their ideal candidate, not subjected to the adherence of any candidates listed out by any groups, especially in the absence of any political parties.
Evoking the sense of dual responsibility within the young researchers, he said, ‘The map of Tibet is slowly disappearing from today’s narrative as you can see these day. Almost half of Tibet is already missing from today’s map of Tibet. Even all the narratives on Tibet are based on historical narration, which is often repetitive and written mostly by outsiders. As a researchers yourselves, you have the double duty of not only researching on the content of your thesis but also on researching and preserving the narrative of both historical and modern Tibet and its culture from a Tibetan perspective. You should not be cocooned within the yardstick of your own research topics but rather reach out to further the Tibetan narrative. Participate in every available platform, not necessarily just Tibet(an)-related. Even if your participation is just for 5-10 minutes long, be an effective Tibetan representative on that stage. People of my generation are slowly retiring and thus, you are next leaders and representative. The next responsibility lies on you.’
He ended the hour-long audience by reminding them that whenever they reach out to other fellows, they must encourage them to know the facts and truth of Tibet and its struggle movement and to seek rational support for Tibet’s cause based on Tibet’s historical facts and truth.